Today I got an email from NewsBlur saying that my annual NewsBlur Premium is up for renewal. My first thought was wow, it’s been a year already? The email also said that my subscription is being extended one more month for free. Sweet!
Back when Google announced they were shutting down Google Reader on July 1, 2013, I panicked. I got all of my news and kept up with blogs that I read using RSS and Google Reader. Yes, it was free and served no real purpose for Google’s business. However, I had grown as dependent on it as I was on coffee.
Luckily, the internet.
I wasn’t alone. Lots of alternatives started creeping out of the woodwork. Plus, I had about 4 months to find something else to use. I set to work. Actually, I waited until the last minute and panicked again.
My main criteria for a daily reader was that it had to be accessible on a PC and my Android phone. At the time the only viable choices for me were NewsBlur, The Old Reader, and Feedly. Feedly was pretty but didn’t fit my style. It is set up to show you big tiles of articles it thinks you would like. What I like to do is browse article titles to see what is available and make my own choices of what to read. The Old Reader did not work well for me either. I can’t remember specifically (it was 1 year ago after all, which is forever in internet time), but I think I had trouble figuring out how to use it.
Newsblur was the perfect fit. It was very Reader-like, and even though it has some features around finding things I like, it gave me the power to browse feeds the way I wanted. It was created and run by one guy run by one guy, is open source, is updated regularly, and just works.
I still use NewsBlur every day and love it. So yes, Samuel, I am renewing my subscription. And I threw in a little extra for the dog.